Beer News

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6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover November 25

tortilla-cantina

6th South Bay Tap Takeover – November 25

So, let’s make this official; the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is not going to let a little thing like COVID-19 stop it! Yes, in the past I have been pretty adamant that I was not going to deviate from the “first Thursday of September” and for the first five years, we made it work. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused some things to be out of my control; however, Tortilla Cantina has been set up for outside dining and they are ready to once again host the South Bay Tap Takeover.

While our past events have had up to 26 South Bay breweries, with 49 taps, this year’s event will be a little smaller.

While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading

Transplants Brewing vs LA County – We Win

In case you had not heard, Los Angeles County craft breweries no longer require reservations a day in advance, effective this past Friday. What you may not be aware of is that these breweries, and their patrons, have Transplants Brewing to thank for this development.

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Transplants Brewing vs. County of Los Angeles

To refresh your collective memories, at the end of May, Los Angeles County allowed breweries to begin reopening under an advanced Stage 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown. Because of a variance granted in June, breweries began setting up their operations to ensure social distancing guidelines as well meeting the obligations of providing food [via food trucks] so they could operate under the same guidelines as restaurants. This was a fair decision that definitely helped local business continue in their attempt to survive the decimation of today’s economy.

Because COVID-19 positive cases began rising, the County decided on June 28 that restaurants’ indoor dine-in services would be closed, but outdoor dining would open and delivery/takeout would be allowed; all bars, breweries, pubs, indoor wineries and tasting rooms were closed for onsite consumption.

On July 12, I tried to get a letter campaign to Governor Newsom, Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Hahn, and the LA County Health Department going, but for some reason I did not see much support coming from our local breweries. Continue reading

South Bay Craft Beer Options Update

UPDATE: February 12, 2021 – The accuracy of this article leaves a lot to be desired. Please check with the brewery directly.

UPDATES: December 14 –The Crac Brewery and Grub now open for to-go beer pickup.
Eureka Brewing Company now open for to-go beer pickup.
In case you had not heard, there is currently NO DINE-IN in LA County.

UPDATES: September 13 – Burnin’ Daylight modifies Sunday hours.
Phantom Carriage adds days for to-go beer pickup.

UPDATE: September 4 – Culture Brewing Company now open.

I was going to update my last article on the South Bay breweries to-go and pickup options, but it looks like just about everything has changed so I might as well start from scratch.

Like the original article, this is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Hours are subject to change so be sure to contact the brewery directly if you have questions.

Absolution Brewing Company – Cans, bottles, crowlers, growlers and kegs can be ordered online at https://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/shop-1. You can also order by phone at 310.490.4860 x101 or by email at orders@absolutionbrewingcompany.com. Deliveries are done Thursday through Sunday; order before 6:00 PM on those days for same day delivery. You can also pick up beers to-go at the brewery Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 7:00 PM, or on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7:00 PM.

Brouwerij West – Brouwerij West now delivers throughout California; please visit https://www.brouwerijwest.com/buybeer for Pick Up, Local Delivery, and Shipping options. You can pick up beer to go at the brewery, daily from noon to 7:00 PM. Credit cards are preferred. Continue reading

Obituary for a Brewery Dog

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Our first selfie – September 5, 2006

This is, hands down, the most difficult article I have ever written. On August 6, 2020, the craft beer community lost a great brewery dog, and I lost my best friend and companion of 14 years.

September 3, 2006 I was driving from a crazy party in Phoenix, Arizona to meet with my business partner and future ex-girlfriend (Tanya) for the first time in Wheatfield, Indiana. I don’t recall which day it was, but I do remember driving along and thinking, “I should get a dog.” On the morning of September 5 Tanya took me out to her barn to show me the litter of puppies her dog had; that is when I met Buddy and informed her that I would fly back in a month or so to bring Buddy back to California. I told her that Buddy would be a definite “chick magnet”; I had no idea just how much of a people magnet he would become.

Since he was so young, I did not feel comfortable taking him from his mother and subjecting him to a 2,000 mile car ride; my plan was to fly back to Indiana, buy a small carrier box and bring him onboard as my carry-on luggage. Unfortunately, the only airline that was non-stop was Southwest, and they did not allow animals on flights. I ended up booking on American Airlines (AA), which had connecting flights with five hour layovers coming and going if I did my layover in Dallas. I didn’t really want to keep my new puppy in a box for an additional 5 hours, so I arranged my return through O’Hare in Chicago, which only had a 45 minute connecting flight layover; this should be doable. Continue reading

Letter Requesting Outdoor Dining at Brewery Taprooms

As our local breweries are being forced to readjust their business model seemingly on the fly, I have written the following letter which I have sent to Governor Newsom at https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/, Mayor Garcetti at mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn at FourthDistrict@BOS.LACounty.gov, and the Los Angeles County Health Department at phwebmaster@ph.lacounty.gov. For the “Subject on the emails I used, “Allowing brewery tasting rooms to operate as restaurants.” For the governor’s form they ask if it is pro or con; I selected con, but you can decide for yourself.

You are not only welcome, but encouraged, to copy this, change the signature to your own name and do the same. I would love for them to become overwhelmed with emails on the topic. Of course, you are welcome to modify it to your own words, or change the county if it applies to where you live (it probably does if you live in Southern California). Continue reading

South Bay Breweries Begin Reopening – Phase 2 Day 1

These photos were taken Saturday, May 30 at San Pedro Brewing Company, Scholb Premium Ales, and Absolution Brewing Company as breweries in the South Bay began reopening under Phase 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown.

On Friday it was announced that LA County was entering Phase 2 of the reopening of businesses from this lockdown; apparently two breweries, San Pedro Brewing Company and Scholb Brewing had been chomping at the bit waiting for permission to reopen as they were the first two craft beer establishments to begin in-house consumption of beer and food. I decided to visit the two of them to see how close my expectations were to our new reality. Continue reading

Greater Expectations: The New Normal

When it comes to writing, I have a process. Whether my article is going to be primarily photos, or like this one, primarily text, I will start writing the article in my head before I sit down at my laptop. I don’t write the entire thing in my head, but I know what I want to be sure to touch on. If I visited a new brewery, or attended some craft beer event, it is pretty easy because I will always take photos that will remind me of what I wanted to mention so I don’t forget. Articles like this one are typically things I think about when walking Buddy. However, before I ever sit down to write any type of article I have to come up with the title. I guess this comes from my days of writing press releases; but the title keeps me focused on what the article will contain. Sometimes coming up with the title is the hardest part.

The original subject matter for this article came to me two years ago. In fact, it was May 22, 2018 that I first spoke with Gary Magnone of HoppedLA and pitched him my idea. My specific pitch was the article would discuss the expectations of 2018 compared to 2012 when it came to craft breweries. Of course, this would be as far as our local Los Angeles craft beer scene was concerned. I gave him first right of refusal, so while I write this, I am not sure if it will be published on HoppedLA or on CraftBeerGuy. Continue reading

South Bay Breweries To-Go and Delivery Options

Update: May 22 – Please visit https://craftbeerguy.com/south-bay-craft-beer-delivery-options/ for the latest updates.

Updates: April 21 – Brouwerij West expands delivery options.
The Dudes’ Brewing Torrance extends hours, adds delivery.
Smog City expands delivery area.

Updates: April 20 – R6 Distillery extends pick up hours.
Upshift Brewing open three days a week for to-go beer.
The Dudes’ Brewing Torrance extends hours.

Updates: April 19 – Burnin’ Daylight modifies hours for food and beer.
King Harbor Brewing is canning again.
Monkish Brewing goes to online ordering only.
Project Barley modifies hours.
Red Car Brewery modifies hours and days open.
San Pedro Brewing offers growler delivery.
Scholb Premium Ales modifies hours.

Updates: April 9 – Common Space expands pickup hours.
HopSaint modifies hours; closed Mondays.
Burnin’ Daylight kitchen opens Friday and Saturday.

Updates: April 8 – Ximix Craft Exploration modifies hours, closed weekends. Adds limited delivery.

Updates: April 6 – Surfridge Brewing offers to-go pickups.

Updates: March 29 – Absolution Brewing extends weekday pickup hours.

Updates: March 28 – The Red Car Brewery open three days a week.

Updates: March 25 – Three Weavers Brewing now offering cans to go.
Ximix Craft Exploration modifies hours, adds days open.
The Slice and Pint will reopen Thursday, March 26 with food and beer available.
The Brews Hall offers online sales of crowlers with multiple pickup locations.
King Harbor Brewing pick-up hours expanded.
The Dudes’ Brewing in Torrance modifies hours, days open.

Updates: March 22 – El Segundo Brewing and The Slice and Pint are closed until further notice.
King Harbor Brewing now offers crowlers to go.
Absolution Brewing extends same day delivery hours.

Updates: March 20 – Yorkshire Square extends hours to 7:00 PM
Hermosa Brewing Company adds crowlers to menu
Cosmic Brewery modifies hours to 2:00 to 6:00 PM
R6 Distillery offers bottle delivery
Brouwerij West adds new page for available beers, change hours
Honest Abe Ciders & Mead has modified their hours
El Segundo Brewing goes to pre-order only
San Pedro Brewing adds mixed drinks to-go

This Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak has definitely changed things in pretty much everyone’s world. As I am sure you are aware, in Los Angeles County there are new restrictions for breweries and brewpubs. I will attempt to keep you posted with latest developments as far as South Bay craft breweries are concerned, and how you can support your favorite breweries in these trying times.

This situation is, pardon the pun, quite fluid, which is why I did not write this two days ago. That being said, to be on the safe side, you should probably contact the brewery directly or check their social media page to see if things have changed since I published this.

This is solely a reference guide, so all breweries will be listed in alphabetical order for your ease and mine. Continue reading

The Sun Sets on an Era at Smog City

These photos were taken Friday evening at Smog City Brewing’s tasting room at their production brewery in Torrance, where several dozen friends, regular customers, and co-workers of Smog City’s taproom manager Jason “Breezy” Briseño gathered to say farewell as Friday was his last day.

Briseño started working as a beertender at Smog in 2014; since then he went on to become their Retail Director and taproom manager of all three Smog City locations. He will be spending the next few months doing consulting jobs and some mixology while he waits on the processing of his visa to move to Australia with his wife, Lauren, who just happens to be from Australia. Apparently Lauren has family in Australia that are involved in the wine and restaurant business, with one of her relatives getting ready to open a brewery; Briseño seems to be looking forward to the opportunity to help them get it off the ground. Continue reading

The Art of Craft Beer Can Art

Having observed the surge of craft breweries in the Greater Los Angeles area, with an almost inside view of the South Bay craft scene in its infancy, the sheer number of new breweries around here is nothing short of amazing. I mean, El Segundo has four breweries now, Lomita has two! It is easier to name the cities that don’t have a brewery than to remember all of them that now do; and they all have multiple breweries, except for Hermosa Beach which had The Brewery at Abigaile close while writing this.

Beyond the obvious expansion of breweries, and that’s not even counting all the satellite taprooms that are popping up, one thing that has really surprised me is how quickly these new breweries have started canning or bottling. I remember when mobile canning was a thing, which wasn’t really that long ago, but everyone is getting their own canning or bottling line, and you have El Segundo Brewing with one of each. Burnin’ Daylight is celebrating their one year anniversary this Saturday, and they have been canning for probably six months. That was just unheard of few years ago. One of the spinoffs of this trend is that of can art. Continue reading

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